When I started this website, which was just a free WordPress blog years ago, I never imagined it would take over from my career as a Graphic Designer and become a full time business. Even less did I imagine it may get recognition in the entrepreneurship space. You see when I started it, it was purely because there was no other site serving this information to myself and my friends who were always on the prowl for new halaal places to try. I figured if we were always looking, so must many other people in our community. Hungry for Halaal was born to fill that information gap, flex my writing muscles and maybe score the occasional restaurant invite ?.
Receiving the Western Cape Government’s Entrepreneurship Award in the Tourism Sector is such a huge validation. There have been times when I’ve just wanted to throw in the towel. Keeping this going with minimal buy in from the industry which it supports has been an uphill battle. So getting recognition that the work I’ve been doing makes a difference is just the push needed to keep on going and keep on growing.
The awards evening recognised Entrepreneurs in the Western Cape in various categories such as Innovation, Social Enterprise, Emerging, Women Owned and more. There were 5 main categories and 4 sub categories. We entered our businesses into a competition and a panel of judges assessed the criteria to judge who the winners would be. The nights overall winner was a women owned business called Organico, who is making waves with a new herb that they have earmarked to become the new Rooibos. You can read more details about all the categories and the winners here.
The event was MC’d by the inimitable Kienno Kammies from Cape Talk, who is part time radio show host but also an entrepreneur in his day job with a passion for the AI space. Rashid Toefy who is the Deputy Director-General of the Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT) opened the program and shared some wonderful insights about people in the entrepreneurial space. The Rainbow Academy, an incredible troupe of talented young singers and dancers entertained us intermittently throughout the evening. Minister of Economic Opportunities, Beverly Schafer also had a few words before the awards were announced with prizes sponsored by ABSA, UCT and Western Cape Government amongst others.
There was much excitement and congratulations as we did not know up front who had even been nominated. As winners none of us knew each other, but all were excited for one another being united in this journey of entrepreneurship. It is truly humbling to be counted among these driven people who are all striving to make a difference in the economic landscape in South Africa.